Some Holly thoughts about “HOLLY”:

When I made this record I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I was excited; excited to work with producer Russ Titelman, excited to work at Sear Sound Studio in New York, a wonderful studio I had recorded songs from my “Temptation” recording in and excited to record with a whole new band that Russ Titelman had assembled. It was an interesting experience for me to walk in the studio on day one of recording and meet most of these people for the first time. And then play songs that I basically did not participate in arranging. That’s pretty different for me. I consider arranging to be a substantial part of my identity as a musician. Having less control was challenging. And what I found was that it took me to new places as a singer. Russ and I both wanted Larry Goldings as the piano player and arranger for the New York sessions. Apart from being an astounding musician he shares my musical aesthetic and is a kindred spirit. Russ suggested that I do a couple of vocal duets with trombone player/singer Wycliffe Gordon. I haven’t done that many vocal duets before. It can be hard to find the right chemistry musically and personally with another singer. Wycliffe and I fell in from the get go. He’s such a fascinating man and a great singer and trombone player. Singing with him was pure joy. The sessions in New York were very intensive. That was a great way to work because we all got to know each other personally and musically very quickly. We did few takes and were able to record those precious moments of discovery. That is so important to me. Capturing the spark of musicians connecting with one another and discovering the essence of the song while recording is rare and fantastic. To me this is the greatest joy in improvised music. When I got home to Toronto I was brimming with ideas and enthusiasm and excited to share these ideas and determined to record several more songs for the record. I love playing with my original Trio members Aaron Davis and David Piltch, piano and bass and along with drummer Davide DiRenzo and John Johnson on horns we recorded three more tracks that made the record. And then we were done, it’s my hope you come to enjoy the fruits of our collective labours as much as we all do, happy listening! …Holly